It can be a little strange after you complete a big race. For several months your life revolves around a training schedule then one day you cross the finish line and life instantly goes back to normal. The void left behind creates a few conflicting emotions. On one side, you are a bit of a high after the race and are happy to have your freedom back again. On the other side however, all of that training brought you to the next level. If you slack off now, you could lose it all.
To maintain a sense of balance, I came up with a few goals that will keep me working hard but also will NOT require a rigid schedule to achieve them. The first goal is to reach 2000 miles of running in 2015 and I only have 105 miles to go. The second goal is to make myself swim more. My insurance plan deducts $25 if I check-in to the fitness center at least twelve times in a month which requires me to swim 3 or 4 times each week. Both goals are keeping me from slacking off while not being so aggressive that they become work.
I am running about 30 miles per week and including intervals and strides but since the race, my main focus has really shifted toward swimming. Usually when I go to the pool, I just swim laps. This season I am doing laps every other time then mixing in a variety of drills, kick workouts and intervals during the other times. It is kind of nice to do some workouts one day then do laps the next day and assess the improvements. I don’t remember ever having this much fun swimming before and all of the work is definitely showing in my pace.
While I am enjoying this relaxed schedule and maintaining my fitness level, eventually, an important question that will need to be addressed. “What will my next big race be?”
Aside from the 2017 Boston Marathon, the only race I have scheduled is a small fatbike race in January. A year and a half is way too long to go between two marathons. What should I do in 2016? Another marathon, an Olympic tri, a half-Iron tri, a century ride?
Also, if I do another marathon, do I want to go through the rigorous training again? Do I want to improve my time or do I just want to take it easy and finish at a relaxed pace? These questions will need to be answered soon so I can figure out when to start the process all over again.